Memories, the cars we love to drive

The holiday season is upon us and as we gather with loved ones, we often reflect on the memories of holidays past and the winter fun spent with friends.

Perhaps where you live, you’ve experienced a white Christmas, the blustery, fridgid winds, scattered snow flakes falling gently to Earth.

However, in past years the cold Northeast spurs not pleasant memories of a winter wonderland but of my favorite car.

You see, Football Coach and I have been PMing back and forth on a wide range of topics, one being the cars we used to drive. Personally, I have fond memories of a '89 Jeep Wrangler soft top, that for two years I drove with no back window. Wind, rain, snow, slush, etc… all being blown through the back. This lovely relic went all twelve rounds. Thirteen years old, 209,000 miles. Unfortunatly, at 6’6" and 300 large ones, the seat backs didn’t answer the bell in round 8. The driver side went first. Swapped that with the passenger side. That broke soon after as I leaned back to take toll money out of my front pocket for the bridge. Now I have a old Cadilac that has a milkcrate holding the seat back up.

And so goes the story of the avatar of Fred Flintstone. I told Football Coach I will be getting a Ford F-250 soon and if those seats give out I may have to get seats of stone. In his amazing wit, Football Coach placed the moniker of Freddy Flintstone on me.

Tell us about the cars you used to drive or are currently driving. I know Football Coach has some great ones. This should provide a few laughs. Lets laugh at each other for a while and then we’ll get back to laughing at Davies and Chek later.

One of my first cars was a navy blue Olds Ciera. That thing was the essence of comfort and style for a young kid learning to drive. It had 150k on it and drove without ever giving us any problems. Then one sunny day, a woman pulls across 4 lanes right out in front of me. Banged up the Ciera pretty good. So the door wouldn’t open and then we had it checked out more. The motor mounts gave out before that things motor! That was the end of the blue cruiser.

One a fun memory but sad ending note: My 72 Cutlass. White with black stripes and a ram air hood. I got it years ago in high school. 2 bbl 350 rocket got me around zippy but wasn’t fast. Little did I know, I would fall in love with the car the minute I went to go see it.

So I drove it pretty much stock for a while.

Then the hot rodding bug bit me. I got a dual exhaust, put an alum intake on it and a 4bbl carb. That was fun and was more than enough for me at the time even with a stock stall and 3.08 gears. Still not super fast but it was a blast to drive. More kick than anything else I could get my hands on at the time. And I absolutely loved the body lines.

Then 2 weeks later I learned why you don’t sup up engines with 110,000 miles on them. The internals can’t take it. 2 weeks after the headers went on, I heard what sounded like a box of wrenches inside my engine as I lost power and had to pull off the road.

It threw a rod.

So I began considering my rebuild options. 350 rocket. 455 rocket. Changing over to Chevy? Caddy 500? Hmm, that sounds interesting. Well, after dozens of hours going back and forth, I decided I wanted to build a 383 Chevy with AFR heads. Yes, a small upgrade from what I had. This would be my revenge on the car gods, or so I thought.

I was going to follow the build up in a carcraft article tellingly titled “540 horses for $4,800 bucks.” Of course, my costs would be higher as someone was going to have to help me with all this…

So I found a local former shop owner/drag racer with a garage setup at home and he agreed to do the machining for me and bottom end assembly. Ordered the stroker kit after buying a 4-bolt block. Cam, intake, gaskets, etc. I bring the bottom end someone else to get balanced. Pick it up 6 weeks later (thanks for hurrying, _______!) I bring it all over to the machinist. He puts it all together. Then I have to wait until someone will help me drop it in. We rip the old engine out. Remove the old AC hump. And hello frame damage.

So we have to stop then and there. I lose 6 months thinking its hopeless, considering scrapping the project and looking for another toy. Then, I happen to run into someone who says he can weld it easy. So more waiting. I bring it over. He’s done fast. My other friend is now too busy to help me. My new welding friend offers to help me drop it in quick.

Quick is 2 months and his wife wants it out of the garage. In the process I need a new driveshaft, a higher stall torque converter, and a dozen other misc things including that damn $500 carburetor. Ouch.

Finally, we get it all together and poop. It runs like a dog. And there are multiple electric problems (little things like the key will turn the key on but won’t shut it off).

So I bring it to a pro speed shop in town, thinking ok, its gonna cost me all the money I have left but darn it, it’ll be done.

Months later its not done. They finally get going on it. I agree to downgrade from the full out race carb to something more sane. I buy a 3.73 posi rear end and have it installed. I finally give in and spend the extra scratch on the MSD box.

Then, they call me a month ago, and say its all done. I go pick it up, pay the $1200 (leaving me with $100 in my bank account). I drive it. Yeah, it drives good and the key turns it off, but somethings still not right. Its slower than my supped up 350 rocket was and this is with a high stall and gears matched to the cam. This thing is supposed to be a conservative 450 flywheel hp engine, and it won’t spin the tires from a standstill and bogs like its clinging to life.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m a month into having it back. Can’t afford to have any more work done. Am sick of waiting. I’ll try idling it down a little but I doubt that’ll solve all the problems.

So I have this really cool car of my dreams and can’t get those last 10m. So for a while its just gonna have to wait in the garage for me. Unless I sell it for 10-20% of what I have in it due to other personal reasons.

I am 16 and my first car is an Acura Vigor…

Now, I am trying to convince my dad to buy this for me (11,000 dollars by the rowing center I go to each week)

1965 Mustang, It would be a SWEET christmas present but it would never happen :frowning:

I know it was a good idea when the Cdn government brought in the law to have cars certified but it did take away from some great “beater” stories.

Thomas reminds me of an Offensive Linemen named Rocko who played at the U. Guelph and the CFL for years back in the late 70’s and in the 80’s. He was Thomas’ size and had one of those giant hunks of Detroit-Iron Buicks built in the 60’s. His seat was broken but he would still lean back in it. If you sat in the back passenger side seat you could have an eye-to-eye conversation with him. If you sat in the front you had to turn around and look into the back seat to talk to him. If you sat behind him you sat sideways with your feet up on the seat because there was no room.

Thomas also reminds me of Milton the Monster, an OL-DL who played at Western and the CFL in the 80’s. Milt had an old beat-to-shit 60’s station wagon that STUNK. You see, Milt could fart different animal smells. Cows, sheep, pigs and not only farm animals - he could do the skunk as well. So could his Linemen buddies. And the smells never went away. They just accumlated. They would push and tow their hunk of Detroit-Iron around the parking lot getting ready for the season. But, the stench never went away.

Of course I can’t forget the younger brother of a tough DB that played at Guelph back in the early 80’s who dropped a giant engine into a canary yellow Vega by cutting away inside to fit the thing. After all his hard work he starts it up in the garage, sounds like we’re at the Winter Nationals, puts in reverse, burns rubber out the driveway (in reverse) and doesn’t get it to a stop until he jumps the curb on the other side of the street. His Mom is out of the house in a flash and stands in front of the car, makes him shut it down and tells the boys to push it back into the garage and refuses to leave until he starts dismounting the engine. Moms huh? Good thing they’re around or we’d all be dead by the age of 17.

Elukas - NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don’t let it go. Store it until you can afford to fix it right. I had a chance for a 1936 Ford coupe in perfect condition back in 1974 for $800 and I passed. Always regretted it.

nba3km - you’re Dad should buy the Stang for himself. Tell him he looked like Steve McQueen.

My beater car when I was in Teacher’s College

4-door shit-brown Dodge Dart with a big stinkin V8. Got about 2 miles to the gallon. All you could smell was leaking fuel and burning oil. Blue smoke billowing out the pipe. I kept a case of oil in the trunk.

Could only start it by jamming open the butterfly in the carbureter. Windows wouldn’t go up (a problem in Canada). Drifts of snow would pile up on the seats. Girlfriend would bundle up in her winter coat. Everything I owned in the back seat.

Had a real bad torque to the right. You had to counter steer. My brother-in-law borrowed it once and his left tricep and shoulder got so tired he could barely get it back home.

Sometimes driving home on the 401 past the Brampton-Milton area late at night if traffic was light I’d play Fireball Roberts. (old stock car driver from the 50’s-60’s) I’d slide up next to the guard rail about a foot away at about 80-90 mph.

Eventually I broke the tranny by revving it and dropping it to gear to burn rubber up the street. It could only move in low gear, top speed 10-15 mph. Drove it like that for a few months around town burning oil and blue smoke worse than ever. People would yell at me, give me the finger. Ah, good memories.

Football Coach

P.S. how do you post a picture on this thread?

Someones out to get me. The day I start a thread on old cars. I get hit!
And a hit and run on top of that. More details to come when this ice comes off my low back.

nba3km - you’re Dad should buy the Stang for himself. Tell him he looked like Steve McQueen.

I know, he says it is also his dream car, but it only gets 9 miles to a gallon, no airbags/anti-lock brakes/head rests etc, so he says it is unsafe. Plus, he didn’t want to deal with it braking down every other time we drive it. He really wants a mach1 but I like that 65 i posted. He was really interested in getting the 2005 mustang (retro version of the '69), but insurance costs would have been way to high for us (since I would also be driving it).

Anyways, maybe christmas morning I will wake up with a 65-69 mustang in my driveway :smiley:

Your Dad is right.